On Nov. 11, Americans pause to reflect and honor the 19 million veterans who have served in the United States Armed Forces, a tradition that has lasted for nearly 70 years

This day is known as Veterans Day, a day in which Americans honor and remember those who have served, University of Nebraska President Ted Carter said. 

“It's a day of reflection and it's a day that we honor all veterans past and present, those that currently serve and those who have served,” he said. 

Carter, who was in the United States Navy for 38 years of active service, four years as a midshipman and most recently as the superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy, said this day offers an opportunity to stop what we are doing and offer our gratitude and recognize the importance of veterans. 

“Americans understand that this is a national holiday, and it's a chance for us to mostly stop work, stop school, stop everything to say, ‘You know, our veterans really matter,’” Carter said. 

Joe Brownell, the director of the Military and Veteran Success Center, said that Nov. 11 is a day to remember those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice and those who have served the nation. Without them, the country would not be what it is today, he said. 

“We have a lot of freedoms in our country because of the people that have served,” Brownell said. 

Brownell and Carter both emphasized that the University of Nebraska-Lincoln supports service members and veterans, including those who come to UNL for school, and sets them up for success. 

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is a top “Best for Vets” university according to Military Times, which Carter said he takes great pride in. In addition, he said the university is continuing to move up on that scale. Some of the reasons for this isn’t just what the university is doing but what the state of Nebraska is doing for veterans as well. 

“I reflect on that and know that we've had a great history of supporting our military,” Carter said. 

Brownell said there are five main things the Military and Veteran Success Center does to support veterans, which he calls the five pillars of excellence:

  • Educational benefits

  • Academic support

  • Student services

  • Career services

  • Outreach 

The first pillar is helping students with their educational benefits, which Brownell said includes navigating the process to help pay for school and other benefits. 

Brownell said the second pillar of academic support includes resources like computers, printing, free tutors and various things to help students be academically successful. 

Student services is the next pillar, focusing on the center’s close partnership with Student Services on campus as well as Veterans Affairs, which holds office hours in the center and meets with students. 

Career services is another component of the center. The center works closely with veteran students to help them with their resumes and interview preparation. They also work closely with companies who are connected with the military and are looking to hire veterans. The center wants to ensure that they find the right fit for students and also make sure they get to do what they want to do next, Brownell said. 

The final pillar is outreach. Brownell said center staff go out on campus and in the community to local organizations to spread the word about and promote the center’s available services. This is also done to attract veterans to campus. 

These benefits are also available to students who are directly connected to the military as well as active and reserve duty members, Brownell said. 

“The university is committed to providing those students to help them be successful,” Brownell said. 

Carter said he is pleased with the steps being taken to make Nebraska, and the university, veteran friendly. 

“Nebraska just continues to be a better and better place for veterans to live and I'm proud to be part of that,” he said. 

Offering gratitude to veterans is an important thing, Brownell said, and he wants veterans to know that UNL is a place where they can be successful and where they are wanted. 

“We can never say thank you enough,” Brownell said. “UNL is the place we want them to be. We want to make sure that they’re successful and they accomplish their academic goals and are continuing to meet those goals to take that next step in their careers.”